Prognostications for 2018

Trying to be more specific than my 2013 and 2014 attempts at guessing the future. Of course, my favorite “came true guesss” is back in 2006 when I wrote about Web 1.0 v. Web 3.0, but I also wrote all the way back then:

4) Look for extensive coverage of the threat electronic voting machines mean to the political process. There has been an underground movement (black box voting) talking about this topic, but it continues to percolate in the tech culture consciousness and has to boil over to the main stream media sooner or later. The concept of elections being stolen will cause much angst. The actual news about the likelihood of evil having been done will be small it will be the fear that causes the most discussion.”

So… I do pretty good when I am very specific even if it takes longer than I expected to come to fruition.

1)  I will have a new job in a different agency or corporation.

2) A major bank or financial entity will have a breach exposing more than 200 million records (easily beating the JP Morgan breach numbers) or a financial loss of more than $2 Billion.

3) The Trump administration will have their OPM style breach moment. Whether it is relevant to the IRS, EPA, DOE, or DHS it will likely be something like a doxing attack. I am more than aware that the media associated attacks of CIA, and NSA hacking tools seem to be moving around the IC. An FBI or DHS hack would fit a pattern of selective targeting. The homily that you have been breached or will be breached will change. The new refrain shall be you are responding to a breach or do not know you have a breach.

4) Analytical structures around artificial intelligence and machine learning will start to bounce off the relativistic limits of processing in real time. A company will start a processing consortium for anomaly detection and “indicator of compromise” generation at speed with partners. Where we have software and infrastructure as a service within the cloud paradigm. This new offering will be analysis as a service. A few companies have all the pieces and a limited number are at the edge of this capability. This will usher in an era of “information sharing” in a way nobody ever quite expected. Expect a three year build up to the hype.

5) There is a technology trend tickling at the edge of the hyper productivity movement. The abandonment of email for group texting and sms texting will change how the application space works. This will be driven by the errant observation that it is more secure than email. We already see the use of Facebook messenger and other clients in much the same way that the AOL Instant Messenger was used years ago. Signal and other apps have led the way and crypto will enable more of this trend. The impacts against e-discovery and data loss prevention technologies will be interesting. There are all kinds of areas for technology development in trusted/untrusted, and cryptographic sharing to eliminate phishing tactics.

6) I expect the conversation around right of boom and left of boom to flourish again. A few years ago it was a big deal and people complained about the military jargon. Predictive analytics sort of pushes to the left of boom. It however is usually based off log files which means right of boom evidence. Somebody is going to realize this is a cycle and a new exploitation and interdiction model will emerge as a ring, circle, or metaphorical spiral. Imagine the Boehm spiral model spit along protect, detect, respond, recover or other phases. This is the natural evolution of waterfall structures which have been the norm and required to leap to the next stage of securing the enterprise.

7)  The next leap ahead application will be a full screen representation module for the IOS environment that mimics a computer screen. The iPhone or iPad will then be able to screen share at 5K definition over the air and be useable as a fully functioning computer on a flat screen. This “Air Play” strategy will enable mouse/trackpad as well as Bluetooth keyboard. Android is close and Apple has almost all the code in place to make this happen. They have about 4 months to put it into production before Samsung or somebody else makes it happen fully. This will change the security and productivity strategy for transient workers. With an AppleTV, iPhone, and Bluetooth accessories you will have a more secure (cloud enabled) productivity environment at scale instantly. Enterprises would be crazy not to think positively about the iOS security model (pdf link) at scale as an opportunity to leap ahead.

8) There has been an uptick in hunting versus gathering on networks since 2016 (pdf link). Penetration testers at the application and network level illuminate the vulnerabilities and paths adversaries can utilize. The fact remains that hunting even by the best can be noisy driving adversaries to ground or even passively helping them to footprint your enterprise. The next leap is information environment architectural and model review of the environment out of band. Likely using cloud based technologies to identify points of weakness constantly in real time. Patching is not always an option so analytical layering security to resolve weaknesses make sense. Some companies are starting to produce products around this space, and it should layer nicely with other analytical and data science solutions.

When guessing the future, we must be careful to not fit the prediction to the evidence. I am very aware also that it took almost a decade for one of my predictions to come true, but I think it was pretty spot on as we close out 2017. The method to my madness is to take the building blocks of what I see and attempt to guess what might be made from the disparate pieces. Bouncing that off patterns to technology development and what has historically happened a prediction is made. I understand this year I have not read nearly as much as I usually read. That makes my base of knowledge more restricted so I acknowledge I do not know what I do not know.



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